The Blackhawks came out flying in the first period and it paid off early as Brandon Bollig scored on a shot that he threw from the corner that went in after Al Montoya failed to secure the post at 1:21 of the first period. The Blackhawks would have several great chances from Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa but they could not build on the lead even though they compiled an 18-2 edge in shots and a 27-6 edge through two periods. However, most of the shots came from far out with no traffic in front of Montoya for plenty of easy saves.
It would be a much different story in the third period as the Jets were energized by only being behind by one after a getting thoroughly outplayed in the first forty minutes. The Jets would tie the game when Blake Wheeler put a rebound from the right faceoff circle top shelf past Corey Crawford at 8:16 of the period. Then a turnover by Marian Hossa in his own zone put the puck on Andrew Ladd’s stick in between the faceoff circles. Ladd fired a shot that appeared to deflect off of Duncan Keith and past Crawford at 12:53. The Jets would salt the game away as Wheeler got past the defense on a stretch pass from Tobias Enstrom for an easy empty netter at 18:45.
What it means
The Blackhawks have now lost three games in a row and have lost all their breathing room in the Central division as they are only one point ahead of the Blues who have three games in hand. This was the last home game for the Blackhawks until March 1 when the play at Soldier Field against the Pittsburgh Penguins and they won’t play in the United Center until March 4 which means seven games in a row on the road in what will be a season defining trip.
3 stars of the game
3. Andrew Laad- It was an all around game for the captain of Winnipeg. Ladd scored one goal on one shot on goal and was a plus one. In addition, Ladd was credited with four hits.
2. Blake Wheeler- You can justify the selection of Wheeler to team USA. It was a good game for Wheeler who had two goals to give him 21 goals on the year. Wheeler was a plus one with two blocked shots and seven hits to his credit.
1. Al Montoya- The young kid from Chicago was spectacular after giving up a bad goal 1:21 into the game. From there, Montoya used the leg pads to rob Kane and company. Montoya made 34 saves on 35 shots for his ninth victory of the year.